History of Camden-Rockport Historical Society

Organized in 1938, the Historical Society acquired the Thorndike homestead in 1961. The 1770s-era home was repaired, furnished with authentic household items and opened to the public.

Antique furniture and farm equipment on display reflect the time period.  Also on the property are a blacksmith shop, 19th-century barn, and a working maple sugar house.

The museum contains historical photos, ship models such as the massive “Minnie Gurney,” vintage clothing 1800s-1960s, antique quilts, and other artifacts related to the history of our Camden and Rockport communities.


“It Began  With A Bugle”
Camden-Rockport Historical Society
Newsletter  Summer 2013

One day in January, 1938, a letter turned up at the Camden
Post Office addressed to the Camden Historical Society.
There being no such organization, Mr. John L. Tewksbury
was called in. It seemed that Mr A.P. .Ripley, a musical
instrument dealer in Melrose, Mass. had a sterling silver
bugle which the ladies of Camden, Maine had presented to
Mr. Paul Stevens in 1858 when he was leader of the
Camden Band. Mr. Ripley would only sell it to an
Historical society and for $60. So, Mr and Mrs. John
Tewksbury, Mr. Leon Crockett and Mr. Horatio Stevens
(Paul Stevens’ son) formed the Camden Historical Society.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ripley had moved to New Brunswick,
Canada and the C.H.S. was told there would be a 100%
duty if the bugle were to be sent to the US. So Mr.
Stevens, Mr and Mrs. Crockett and their young daughter
Margaret drove up to Canada and purchased the bugle for
$60 and gave it to the C.H.S., a very novel beginning for
any historical society. ( from the 1st newsletter of the
Camden Historical Society in 1963